The Milwaukee Brewers announced earlier today via Twitter that the contract of C/1B Josmil Pinto had been selected from Colorado Springs and he will be joining the big league club. Pinto was acquired via waiver claim from San Diego last offseason, but wound up being outrighted by the Brewers and spending the entire season with the AAA Sky Sox.
A former top prospect in the Twins organization, the 27 year old Pinto has played 78 games at the MLB level and boasts a career .257/.339/.445 slash with 11 home runs (120 wRC+) across 280 plate appearances. He hadn’t appeared in the major league since 2014, however, when he posted .705 OPS in 57 games. He’s never been highly regarded behind the dish, but a league-average or better bat from the catcher’s position can be tough to find.
Josmil certainly earned his way back on to the 40 man roster and to the big leagues with an outstanding debut season in the organization. He hit .308/.362/.517 with 11 home runs (132 wRC+) across 315 plate appearances while splitting time between catcher and first base for the Sky Sox. His addition fills the final vacancy on the 40 man roster.
I know what you’re thinking, and I’m right there too: the timing of the call-up does seem a little curious. There are only a dozen games left in the season and Milwaukee is already carrying three catchers (Andrew Susac was scratched the other day with food poisoning but he’s said to have been feeling better). Pinto was set to become a minor league free agent after the season, so perhaps the Brewers simply knew that they wanted to keep Pinto in the organization heading into next season and took care of it by adding him to the 40 man roster now. Or maybe they’re trying to engender some goodwill to convince Josmil to re-sign on a minor league deal if/when they outright him again after the season. Either way, Pinto will at least get to take home a big league paycheck for the next couple of weeks, which seems like a nice reward after a strong performance at the highest level of the minors this season.
Congratulations are in order for Manny Pina:
Congratulations to Manny Piña and his wife Leny on the birth of their daughter Jiména Sofía.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 20, 2016
With that in mind, the call-up of Pinto does make a little more sense.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs